#20 Tigers Topped At Mississippi State, 7-6
March 25, 2011
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Cody Freeman's one-out RBI single to score Sam Frost from second in the bottom of the ninth sent the No. 20 Auburn baseball team to a second straight one-run loss as it fell, 7-6, on Friday night at Mississippi State. The loss dropped Auburn's record to 14-8, 2-2 SEC while Mississippi State improved to 16-6, 2-2 SEC.
"We spotted them four runs early in the game but we kept our composure, battled back and got a chance to get back in the ballgame," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "We had a couple of opportunities, especially in the eighth inning. We have to be able to get guys over and in but we didn't do that. We made some mistakes and that cost us the game. Our kids fought hard and they will come back tomorrow and regroup."
Tied at 6-6 heading to the eighth, Auburn put runners on first and second with none out but that proved to be the final offensive output for the team on the evening as the next six hitters were sat down in order by the Mississippi State pitching duo of Caleb Reed and Chad Girodo (2-0).
Mississippi State couldn't do anything in its half of the eighth but got the better of Zach Blatt (1-2) in the ninth. Wes Thigpen (3-for-3, HR, 2 RBI) singled to right to start the inning and then was replaced by Frost. A sac bunt put Frost in scoring position with one down in the inning. Blatt then got Nick Vickerson (2-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI) to ground out to third, keeping Frost at second, but Freeman's (1-for-4, RBI) single to the wall in left center was just beyond the reach of Creede Simpson, allowing Frost to race home with the winning run.
Mississippi State jumped on Auburn starter Cory Luckie for four runs in the second, capitalizing on three singles, a double and a hit by pitch, with all four runs scoring after there were two outs in the inning. The big blow came off the bats of nine-hole hitter Jaron Shepherd (1-for-3, 2 RBI), who hit a two-run single, and Vickerson, who laced a two-run double into right-center.
Auburn cut the deficit in the half in the third, taking advantage of some wildness out of Mississippi State starter Devin Jones. Cullen Wacker (2-for-3, 2B) led off with a double, went to second on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch. Simpson (0-for-2, SF, RBI) accounted for the other run, getting hit by a pitch, making his way to third on a pair of wild pitches and scoring on a Justin Fradejas (1-for-5, HR, 2 RBI) RBI groundout to make it 4-2.
Dan Gamache's (1-for-4) second triple of the year, this one to lead off the fourth, led to Auburn's third run as Wes Gilmer (1-for-5) drove him in with a RBI single. Gilmer's single ended the day for Mississippi State's Jones, who allowed four runs on three hits and a walk. Gilmer would come around to score on a Simpson sacrifice fly to left to make it 4-4.
Auburn took a 5-4 lead in the fifth when Casey McElroy (1-for-4) extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a single to right and scored from second on Caldwell's double down the left field line.
Thigpen put Mississippi State back on top, 6-5, with a two-out, two-run home run down the line in left only to have Fradejas answer with his first home run of the year, hitting it to almost the identical spot down the line in left to start the seventh.
Luckie was charged for six runs on eight hits in six innings, not allowing a walk and striking out six while Blatt allowed one run on four hits in 2 2/3 innings, striking out one.
Caldwell threw out two runners in the game, including Vickerson who came into the game a perfect 17-for-17 on the season. He has now thrown out eight of 15 attempted base stealers.
Auburn will attempt to even the series at 2pm on Saturday when it sends Jr. RHP Will Irvin (3-0, 3.70 ERA) to the mound opposite So. RHP Christ Stratton (3-1, 2.38).
Mississippi State 7, Auburn 6 (Mar 25, 2011 at Starkville, Miss.)
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